After considerable hemming and hawing, we finally decided that it might be OK to put up the birdfeeder that son Caleb had given us for Christmas. The uncertainty was not about any fears that, in enticing birds to visit for handouts, we'd be making them soft; rather, it was about our concern that in luring them close, we'd be making them easy prey for our cats. But the felines don't go out as much, and, we figured, we could fence off the feeder enough so that cat stealth couldn't come into play. I sure hoped that was true as I filled the "diner" with a variety of enticing seeds. That was almost two weeks ago, and since that day, precisely zero birds have come to dinner. We were beginning to worry that maybe the house was on an avian blacklist or, worse, there was something wrong with the bargain seed we'd bought. This morning, however, I learned that I could put fear two to bed. The Gray Squirrels had discovered the supposedly squirrel-proof feeder, and while these wily rodents couldn't actually penetrate the feeder's wiry defenses, they quickly learned to give it a good shake and spill seeds on the ground. That did the trick... and so the long-running battle, engaged in by every bird feeder, was joined.